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Rising cost of living to drive more shoppers to social and even metaverse, study suggests

As the rising cost of living increases demand for affordability, consumers will turn to new shopping channels, including social commerce and even the metaverse, a study predicts.

With the growing emergence of social commerce in regions such as China where nearly half (49.5%) of social media users have made a social purchase, the UK is set to follow suit in 2023.

According to the annual Social Media Trends 2023 Report: From insights to action: how to disrupt a disruptive consumer from Talkwalker in partnership with Khoros,three quarters (75%) of consumers say the pandemic has driven long-term changes in their behaviours and preferences. The year ahead will see businesses and their brands prioritise customer experience through social media, enabling a prompt and efficient response not only to provide customer service in real time, but to build customers for life.

The coming year will see disruptor brands focused on sustainability take a larger share of the market. Savvier consumers will also interrogate ecological claims, leading to more backlash against potential greenwashing claims. The report found that consumers want businesses and their brands to take action with 82% wanting companies to put people and the planet before profit.

The year ahead will also see the rise of decentralised networks, as concerns grow around the lack of control users have about what’s published, how data is stored and censorship issues on social networks. Expect to see social media giants giving more power back into the hands of their users.

The concept of the metaverse will be a trend that everyone will want to be a part of in 2023. Immersive reality, Web3 including digital assets via NFTs and blockchain will see consumers in a 3D worlds’, represented by avatars dressed in bespoke gear, spending virtual currency.

This year’s report includes data-led insights and expert analysis from global experts and industry veterans on why businesses and their brands need to get closer to their consumers, and prioritise their needs with a seamless ability to predict their ever-changing demands. 

David Low, global CMO at Talkwalker says: “We all know the digital ecosphere has disrupted how marketers engage with consumers. In this new environment, marketers must focus on forging symbiotic relationships through a better understanding of online conversations and taking quicker action. It’s this new understanding that will help brands create meaningful experiences and become closer to their consumers.”

Dillon Nugent, CMO at Khoros adds:”As marketers, we know the value of data and the importance of listening to our customers. But, we need to be more action-oriented and use those insights more effectively. Consumers’ comfort level for doing things online – shopping, researching, socialising – is not slowing down as the world opens up. 

“They also care more about their communities—global, local, IRL, and online. Marketers need to tap into these trends and behaviours more deeply to personalise customers’ experiences and create more impactful strategies that empower your brand to stay connected to customers and grow your presence in the market.”

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